Hospital midwives: an examination of the role, diversity and practice conditions of Dutch hospital midwives

Douglas J. Cronie

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisExternal prepared

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The Primary care midwife has long been the cornerstone of Dutch maternity care; the hospital midwife is a relatively new and increasingly important caregiver for pregnant and birthing women in the Netherlands.
One in three midwives in the Netherlands are now employed in hospitals, making this the fastest growing segment of the Profession. In spite of this and in spite of the fact that hospital midwives are frequently called upon to care for women with complex care needs (often without additional assistance from an obstetrician), we know very little about the practice and working conditions of hospital midwives. The aim of our research was to map and critically review the practice of hospital midwives and to explore their contribution to the quality of maternity care within the context of Dutch maternity service provision.
We looked at what they do and how they experience this because their experiences are (or can be seen as) another determinant for quality of care.
We had five objectives, which were:
1). To describe the existing diversity in the scope and practice of hospital midwives in the Netherlands.
2). To examine the content and quality of the protocols for hospital midwives in the Netherlands.
3). To compare hospital midwives and primary care midwives with regard to job satisfaction and attitudes towards their work.
4). To examine how maternity care professionals in the Netherlands perceive their job autonomy and whether their expectations about job autonomy will change in a system of integrated maternity care.
5). To examine the quality of collaboration between multi-disciplinary teams of maternity service providers in the Netherlands.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • de Vries, R., Supervisor
  • Buitendijk, S. E., Supervisor, External person
  • Rijnders, Marlies, Co-Supervisor, External person
  • Jans, S., Co-Supervisor, External person
Award date3 Oct 2019
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Print ISBNs9789463237963
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Obstetrics
  • Midwives
  • Clinical obstetricians
  • Integrated care
  • Diversity
  • Cooperation


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